LUKE: Mm-hmm. And the standard question is, but how can a descriptive science be a prescriptive enterprise? So, let me spell out the problem in a little detail. So, it seems that science tells us what is the case, and philosophy tells us what should be the case, and never between shall meet.
So, your point is that if I claim that philosophy is a kind of theoretical science, how can we extract any shoulds from it. In other words, how can we figure out how we should reason from the science that tells us how we do reason. And in response, I think I would make two points.
First, nobody really knows what makes philosophy normative. Too often we just assume that philosophy gets to tell us about how things should be. And plus, philosophers disagree a lot about these sorts of issues. For example, if a test for HIV is 99 percent accurate and you test positive, does that mean that you have a 99 percent chance of being HIV positive? Well, probably not. Just consider James Randi. I mean, he gives us lots of really good advice about how we should think about people who claim to exhibit paranormal abilities. That is a very uncontroversial way, or fairly uncontroversial way to talk about normative recommendations.
And so, if we wanted to, we could use the same kind of thing in epistemology and say look, if you want to more probably get at the truth about such-and-such issue, then here are the reasoning processes you should employ. And the reason we make that recommendation is because we have a fair bit of evidence that that is what works, just like we have very good evidence that going south from L. And that would be maybe an unambitious way to talk about the normative consequences of these descriptive facts about human reasoning and what types of processes tend to make better predictions.
And ultimately that might be the best we can do. I guess my answer was just a bit more cagey than that in leaving open the possibility of something more ambitious. Steven Stitch has some similarities with your approaches in naturalized epistemology and that kind of thing. But, he says there are no intrinsic epistemic virtues. And after all, he says, false beliefs can sometimes lead to a higher quality of life. You know, you might be more contented or happy if you believe in a divine being whose going to reunite you with all your family when you die or something like that.
So, what do you think of this objection from Steven Stitch? I think J. Trout and I agree with Stitch on some things. So sometimes false beliefs can lead to good results.
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And there actually may even be cases in which this is systematically the case. But, we part with Stitch because we think it is useful to keep different normative realms, the moral, the epistemic, the aesthetic, the practical, at least somewhat independent. So, if you have a serious illness, what should you believe?
And so this is why Trout and I think that it makes sense to think of distinctively epistemic virtues. Your health might be more important than using the correct reasoning processes about your condition. You can use the statistical prediction rules and the other kinds of recommendations that you offer.
And then you could say, well, the practical realm is about certain goals that you have. And so if you want to achieve those certain goals, then you should do this. That would be extremely controversial but that would just be one way to go. MIKE: Let me make two separate points. First, the way I would distinguish between these different normative realms is in terms of what our basic human capacities are. So, we have a capacity for reasoning about the world, we have a capacity for getting along or not getting along with other people, and these different normative realms arise from these different capacities.
Now, the reason that one might want to avoid the hypothetical imperative approach to these matters is what do you say to somebody who has sick or twisted or quirky goals? How does that come into the discussion? MIKE: Good. But, scientists can disagree about what counts as good reasoning. MIKE: Right. Relevant to epistemic goodness. So, we had to be able to make choices between different psychologists when they were disagreeing about whether something was an instance of good reasoning or not.
So we need something else. I would grant this objection, I think J. The theory tells us how we ought to reason about the world. We will need some other theory to solve those problems. But, a theory that tells you how you should reason about the world is quite ambitious enough I think. Now, one more objection to strategic reliabilism is that your approach disparages intuitions in large ways in epistemology but without intuitions, philosophy kind of falls apart. Maybe could you explain the role that intuitions play in standard analytic epistemology and then what your response to this objection is?
MIKE: In epistemology and in philosophy more generally, the term intuition has quite the specific meaning more specific than it does in our ordinary parlance. And epistemological intuition is a judgment about say whether a particular belief is knowledge or is justified. So, think again about my belief that Elvis is alive.
Hanna colorado. The Nature of Judgment 1. Kinds of Judgments 2. The Metaphysics of Judgment: Transcendental Idealism 3. Problems and Prospects 4. The Nature of Judgment Theories of cognitive judgment both prior to and after Kant tend to divide dichotomously into the psychologistic and platonistic camps, according to which, on the one hand, cognitive judgments are nothing but mental representations of relations of ideas, as, e.
And in the Critique of Pure Reason he characterizes judgment at least four times: Judgment is … the mediate cognition of an object, hence the representation of a representation of it. In every judgment there is a concept that holds of many [representations], and that among this many also comprehends a given representation, which is then immediately referred to the object. That is the aim of the copula is in them: to distinguish the objective unity of given representations from the subjective. For a discussion of these kinds of use, see the following supplementary document: Kinds of Use 3.
Then in the first Introduction to the Critique of the Power of Judgment , Kant explicitly says that [it] is quite possible in itself at least as far as the understanding can make out a priori , [that] the multiplicity of these [empirical] laws, along with the natural forms corresponding to them, being infinitely great, [could] … present to us a raw chaotic aggregate and not the least trace of a system, even though we must presuppose such a system in accordance with transcendental laws.
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Quine, W. Quine, From a Logical Point of View , 2nd edn. Reich, K. Kneller and M. Rohs, P. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses , vol. II, Berlin: De Gruyter. Russell, B. Again, the project assigned to the new theoretical epistemology is to state tacit principles of excellence in reasoning that guide AP recommendations.
That project is of doubtful value to an epistemology, old or new, that aims to state the conditions that actually determine any given epistemic status. We have no good grounds to think that the epistemic principles that are tacitly accepted by AP researchers are correct. The recommending researchers need not even be guided by epistemic principles.
But the supporting evaluative framework need not be epistemic. Sensible ethical and prudential concerns support recommending the more accurate SPR procedures for making important judgments. They have two main objections. One is methodological. They regard the method of SAE, in theorizing about justification or knowledge, as that of testing theories by the considered judgments about examples of practitioners of SAE. Bishop and Trout cite empirical findings of diversity in example evaluations.
They challenge practitioners of SAE to defend the claim that their considered judgments are most trustworthy — There is a reasonable response to this challenge. The most trusted SAE case judgments survive intense critical reflection. At their best, the considerations that inform them include appreciation of the historical and contemporary theories and arguments about justification and knowledge. The relevant empirical evidence, including evidence about diversity, also informs them.
The resulting judgments are fallible. Their trustworthiness is open to philosophical or empirical discrediting. Still, no other visible basis for evaluating examples has comparably good credentials. Again, they seek an epistemology that gives practical advice, going as far as to say at one point:.
The primary aim of epistemology, from our perspective, is to provide useful general guidance about reasoning. They find only unhelpful guidance from SAE. SAE theories give no guidance at all. A theory of the conditions that determine justified belief gives no advice about what to believe, not even the advice to believe only what is justified.
Justification is something positive about a belief, but not decisive on its own. The advisability of holding a belief is independent of its justification. Even when only epistemic value is at stake, having a particular justified belief can be inadvisable. The belief might be distracting; it might obstruct or destroy other justification or knowledge. For corresponding positive reasons, having some unjustified belief might be epistemically constructive.
More fundamentally, the advisability of believing is determined by more than its epistemic merits. Bishop and Trout seem to be committed to disagreeing with the last claim. So their view makes epistemic excellence depend on the balance of all sorts of objective reasons. Here is an example. An oncoming vehicle threatens your life. You are able to reason productively about how to avoid this threat. Instead you ignore it. Bishop and Trout use this very example to illustrate that relative epistemic significance can be obvious But in one respect your philosophical reasoning is as good as reasoning gets.